Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Change of Scenery

I’m away to Hobart today for the ASCP conference, where L Magee and I are apparently co-presenting something called “Transforming Communication: Habermas and Brandom in Dialogue” – first I’ve heard of it, but then I’m always the last to know…

I’m not sure what the net access situation will be from the conference, so things may be a bit quiet around here until next week. Apologies for not getting something up on Brandom before I left – I will definitely be putting some things up once I’m back.

Just to give folks something new to look at while I’m away, the website design, which has been more or less the same since Rough Theory was first created back in early 2005, has now itself been transformed. The main idea is to make the text more readable – hopefully the new design will at least achieve that. But feel free to let me know if the new look doesn’t work, if you have suggestions for improving the design (any pet peeves you’ve been wishing to mention about the site? here’s your chance!), or if something breaks because of the change. Those who find the whole thing simply unacceptable can use the theme switcher in the right column to shift the site back to its old look.

Wish L Magee and me luck in Tasmania! Take care all.

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4 responses to “Change of Scenery

  1. Mikhail Emelianov December 5, 2007 at 5:31 am

    how do you “co-present” something?

  2. Andrew December 5, 2007 at 5:48 am

    The new design is brilliant! And good luck at the conference, too!

  3. N Pepperell December 5, 2007 at 5:52 am

    Yes, it should be an interesting piece of performance art… ;-)

    Seriously: we’ve divided the piece into sections. The plan – which may change between now and Friday, when we actually present) is that I will open with a general introduction to the core question of how a secular theory understands the possibility for critical sensibilities to arise, once the notion of a “god’s eye point of view” has been abandoned, and the theory attempts to understand critical sensibilities as both somehow generated by human practices, and yet also as possibly reacting back against those practices in a way that can meaningfully be discussed as “normative” (as opposed, say, to mechanistically causal). Both Habermas and Brandom’s projects can be understood as attempts to do such a thing, by examining (in slightly different ways) the implications of linguistic practices (of slightly different sorts).

    L Magee will then take over, and discuss a particular exchange between Brandom and Habermas, giving their perception of where they disagree with one another, and the implications of that disagreement. Our take is that there are genuine disagreements, and also a bit of pure and simple talking past one another – so LM will try to bring out those points.

    I’ll then take the concluding section of the talk, to step back from Habermas and Brandom’s perception of what’s at stake, and contextualise the discussion against some other issues and options that don’t arise directly in their debate (particularly around the issue of whether either theorist is adequately “reflexive” in my sense, and whether the focus on linguistic practice specifically is the most productive focus).

    This is assuming, of course, that we don’t recast everything between now and Friday (which, with me, is always something of a risk…). Poor LM…

  4. N Pepperell December 5, 2007 at 5:53 am

    Hey Andrew – missed your comment in the posting: thanks for the feedback, and the well-wishes (I feel like I need the well-wishes – lots of new material for me for this conference – high probability, I was saying to LM last night, of my saying something that I’ll feel, two weeks from now, was completely the wrong way of going about things… Ah well… At least there are many concurrent sessions to lead people away from our particular talk… ;-P)

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